Use of Social Media by Alaskan Libraries
Keywords:social media, Alaskan libraries, school libraries, public libraries, academic libraries
AbstractThis paper summarizes a survey study of the use of social media by school, public, and academic libraries in Alaska. Librarians at 243 Alaskan libraries were contacted and asked to participate in the study; 83 librarians responded by taking the survey. Results show that public libraries are heavily engaged in social media; academic libraries regularly use social media; and some school libraries use social media but many face school district restrictions on usage. The top reasons Alaskan libraries use social media is to promote library news and events; promote specific resources; and promote specific services. Reasons for not using social media include: not having enough time; social media isn’t deemed as important; and poor Internet connectivity in rural communities. Social media platforms are selected based on librarian preference and comfort level, as opposed to audience characteristics. Libraries that aren’t under prohibitive restrictions, such as policies against using social media or poor internet/bandwidth issues, should frequently reassess their use of social media platforms to best engage with patrons and the community.